PPC ad campaigns are complicated.
Getting started is easy enough. You can choose a small handful of keywords, set a budget, and watch your advertisements roll out for users that are, presumably, relevant for your brand.
But if you’re interested in making the most out of every dollar you spend on PPC advertising, you’ll need to think critically about your keyword targeting strategy, your budget planning, and more.
That also means making strategic changes to your PPC campaign overall so it performs better, ultimately earning you more visitors and more conversions for less money.
One of the most important concepts to understand in pursuit of this goal is impression share.
But what exactly is impression share and how can you maximize it in your PPC campaign?
“Impression share” is a relative measurement of how frequently your ads appear when a user searches for a relevant query.
For example, let’s say your ad is in position 1 for each search relevant for your settings – and you have unlimited funds to sustain this ad placement indefinitely. In this scenario, you’d have an impression share of 100 percent.
Obviously, impression share is valuable. The higher your impression share is, the more frequently your customers are going to see your advertisements.
But when it comes to PPC strategy, maximizing impression share isn’t just about flatly increasing this metric.
That’s because impression share is usually a byproduct of your Quality Score, your budget, and the nature of your competitors. Since you have no direct control over how many competitors are competing with you, and we can safely assume you’re already optimizing your Quality Score as much as possible, we can quickly identify the main problem holding back your impression share: budget.
Yes. If your only goal is increasing total impression share, there’s a very straightforward path to achieving it: spend more money.
But if you’re like 99 percent of PPC advertisers, this probably isn’t doable. You’re already spending as much money as you can afford on this strategy.
That means we need to take a different route. Assuming you can’t just throw money at this problem, how can you optimize and rearrange your PPC spending to make your impression share work in your favor?
Ultimately, this strategy boils down to increasing the impression share of your best performing keywords, potentially at the expense of decreasing impression share and spending on your worst performing keywords.
Let’s dig in.
First, why does this really matter?
In your PPC advertising campaign, you’re going to have some winners and losers. There are going to be some keywords and advertisements that return exceptional value to your brand, and some keywords and advertisements that are barely worth pursuing.
If you’re interested in getting the most value from the money you spend, it’s useful to move resources away from underperformers and toward your best performers. Maximizing impression share for your most valuable target keywords achieves this.
Maximizing impression share can also be a competitive advantage. If you’re running PPC advertisements in a highly competitive environment, it may be advantageous to get the highest impression share possible for a contested keyword; in this way, you can minimize the impression share for competitors’ advertisements.
The first step in the process of maximizing impression share for your best performing keywords is identifying your best performing keywords.
There are a few key metrics that are especially important in making this determination. The most straightforward indicator of value is conversion rate, since conversion rate is often tied to revenue.
There are many actions that can qualify as conversions, so it’s important to track all of them. Making a purchase, filling out a form, or even watching a video could be a meaningful user action that predicts revenue generation in the near future.
The higher the conversion rate is for a target keyword, the more generally valuable we can assume it is. Would you rather have 1,000 visitors on a landing page capable of achieving a conversion rate of 8 percent? Or 1,000 visitors on a landing page with a conversion rate of only 1 percent?
In Google Ads, you can do this in the Keywords report, where you’ll see a breakdown of all your target keywords – including conversion rates for those keywords. You can use filters to selectively ignore your worst performing keywords, and bring your best performing keywords straight to the top.
Depending on the goals of your campaign and the nature of your target audience, conversion rate may not be the only variable worth considering. You may also want to consider the value of each conversion, the value of different types of landing page behavior, and other factors.
Still, conversion rate is a great place to start.
In the Keywords report, you’ll also see a breakdown of impression share.
Ideally, all your best performing keywords would have an impression share of 100 percent – but we can pretty much guarantee this isn’t the case.
How can we push that impression share higher?
First, we need to analyze low impression share.
In other words, why are we seeing the impression share that we are?
You’ll need both Keywords and Campaigns reports to uncover more details.
These are the most important steps to take if you’re interested in maximizing impression share to improve the overall return on investment (ROI) for your PPC campaign.
Do you need help understanding which of your keywords are most valuable for increasing impression share?
Are you totally lost when it comes to doing deep dives into the analytics of your PPC campaign?
PPC.co is here to help. Whether you’re thinking about starting a brand new campaign or you’re working out the kinks of a campaign that’s been running for years, we have the experts and tools you need to succeed. Contact us for a free consultation today!